Coronavirus: Drivers caught travelling hundreds of miles to buy puppies and speakers | UK News

Cumbria is an idyllic part of the world – a popular choice for day trippers and staycationers when the weather’s warm.

But with the coronavirus lockdown still in place, this is no normal bank holiday weekend.

Officers from Cumbria’s roads policing unit have shared several examples of motorists who have been caught making non-essential journeys in the county.

This family of four were driving from London to Motherwell for a three-day break. Pic: @CumbriaRoadsPol
This family of four were driving from London to Motherwell for a three-day break. Pic: @CumbriaRoadsPol

The force has issued dozens of fines since the lockdown began, and some of the reasons for breaking the rules have been especially egregious.

On Saturday alone, one driver was stopped as he attempted to drive from Manchester to Dundee in order to purchase a puppy.

Another motorist had set off from London to Manchester to buy an Audi – and then decided to travel to Carlisle so he could treat himself to some speakers he had seen on eBay.

A family from Wigan were given a ticket after being caught heading out for a drive in Windermere. Officers escorted them from the area.

Police fined one group who made a 250-mile journey from the capital to Ambleside, telling them: “Unfortunately, London is not a reasonable distance to have travelled from.”

Minutes later, “succinct words of advice” were given to a family who had travelled to the Lakes from Southend-on-Sea – a one-way journey that’s 307 miles.

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These breaches have been happening regularly. On Friday, three men had travelled from Stockport to Cumbria “to feed the ducks”.

They were escorted back to the motorway, with officers describing their actions as “quackers”.

Some of those stopped by the police for making a non-essential journey have tried to claim that they were on the road for work, even though this wasn’t the case.

People in a park in Hackney, London, where police say they are 'losing the battle' to enforce lockdown rules. Pic: Hackney Police
People in a park in London, where police say they are ‘losing the battle’ to enforce lockdown rules. Pic: Hackney Police

Even though the Cumbria roads policing unit has tried to be good-humoured about some of the violations they’ve seen in recent days, their message is clear: “Lockdown is still on. The Lake District is still closed.”

Police in other parts of the country have also said they are “fighting a losing battle”.

In the London borough of Hackney, officers said “literally hundreds of people” were ignoring the government’s orders to stay at home – sitting in parks and having pizzas, beers and wine.

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